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Haitian earthquake victims should have used more wood: Campbell

The earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti last week would have been less devastating had the Haitians constructed their buildings out of wood, British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell said today.

“It's interesting when you think, 'what would Haiti look like today if that had been built with wood instead of cinder block?'” Campbell said in a speech to the Truck Loggers Association convention in Victoria. “And the fact is there'd be a lot of buildings that would still be standing.”

The comment was an aside in a speech focused on building markets for B.C. wood in China and the rest of Asia.

Estimates of the number of dead in Haiti from the magnitude-7.0 Jan. 12 earthquake range up to 200,000.

Two days after the earthquake the B.C. government pledged $500,000 in aid to the Red Cross to help in Haiti and forests minister Pat Bell said he would co-ordinate with the federal government to provide wood for rebuilding.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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